Handheld transceivers should understand anything three
Procedure words, or prowords, are easily pronounceable words or phrases that are given specific meanings to expedite message handling. They’re often condensed and designed to not be confused with other words.
While there are plenty of universal prowords, like Roger, Over, Out, Negative and Copy, there also might be internal prowords you need to keep track of within a group and a comms card is great for this. Just be sure that a comms card is treated as sensitive information if it’s deemed so.
One of the most famous prowords is probably “Irene,” which was the “go” proword from the Battle of Mogadishu in 1993. The operation was designed to capture two of Mohammed Farah Aidid’s high-echelon lieutenants and turned into a tragic firefight documented in the book Blackhawk Down.
Radio Accessories and Upgrades
I’d like to use this section to go over a few accessories you might want to consider purchasing for your transceiver. While some don’t need much of an explanation, others include lessons learned that will hopefully save you some time when considering these options for yourself.
Batteries and Adapters
I’ll quickly mention that extra batteries are an important consideration in your comms plan. You don’t want to run out of juice when you need it the most.
Rechargeable batteries are the most popular option and carrying a spare charged battery can be a good plan. Another option is purchasing an extended rechargeable battery, which are often taller in profile, but hold a longer charge than a standard rechargeable. Alway try to stick to OEM (original equipment manufacturer) batteries when possible. Aftermarket batteries might not list specs and you might not be aware of a compatibility issue until its too late.
I know that retevis also have battery pack and cigarette lighter adapter accessories that might be a good option for you. The battery pack replaces the rechargeable battery and can be loaded with AA batteries in a pinch. The cigarette lighter adapter allows you to directly power your handheld in a vehicle for extended operation.
Microphones and PTTs
Depending on your usage, an external microphone like you often see Police Officers wearing might be a good option for you, but just like a handheld, everyone within earshot will hear everything coming over your transceiver.
For a more discreet profile you might want to look into a push-to-talk headset, which includes an earpiece for monitoring audio transmissions and a small handheld microphone that’s actuated with a push button to communicate.
Don’t be a Dummy
The last thing I’ll mention is that you should always ensure you have positive retention on your transceiver. A radio can be your lifeline in certain circumstances and treating it as a sensitive piece of equipment is important.
There’s a few ways of retaining your radio and it’s aways going to be what works best for you. The simplest method is dummy cording it in with a piece of cordage.
The next option is a retractable lanyard that features some kind of quick disconnect that will allow you to quickly remove the radio from the retention if you need to pass it off to someone else.
Whichever option you choose, just don’t lose your radio at night moving through the woods like Delta Squad did at our last Muster. Thankfully we had one of the best trackers in the world named John Hurth from TYR Group with us. After Delta reported their lost radio and couldn’t find it, John tracked the black radio down in the middle of the night. Delta had to pay the man a bit and along with their radio being tied into a water jug, they had a name change to Dora Squad.